Australian boxer Andrew Moloney suffered the first defeat in his professional career, when he faced Joshua Franco at MGM Grand on June 24 (AEST). Going up against the representative of the country-host, now former champion put the WBA Super Flyweight title on the line, but failed to retain the strap, dropping a decision.
After twelve rounds the judges verdict (115-112, 114-113 and 114-113) unanimously went in favor of Franco, who became a new champion. The key to decision was a knockdown scored in Round 11. You can watch the highlight video below.
"The Professor" @JoshuaFranco_ made strong adjustments to become a world champion for the first time, as the TR on ESPN summer series saw its second notable main event upset. #MoloneyFranco pic.twitter.com/cZmIaKg1eW
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) June 24, 2020
“It was real crucial. I needed that knockdown,” said new champion Joshua Franco, who in addition to the belt updated his record to 17-1-2, 8 KO. “Robert [Garcia] kept me in the zone. He’s been a world champion, he’s [coached] many world champions and he knows the words to say. He kept me motivated, he kept me focused. I didn’t lose focus the whole fight, and you know, it paid off.”
“Such a great feeling. It still hasn’t hit me yet. It’s just so real. I can’t believe it. I’m world champion and I worked so hard for this. I knew the hard work would pay off in the end.”
According to reports, Andrew Moloney (21-1, 14 KO) suffered two perforated eardrums. As he started vomiting shortly after the fight, he was taken to the hospital by an ambulance as a precaution. He had since checked out and was “feeling OK,” Ben Damon reported (via Twitter).
“It just wasn’t my night tonight,” Moloney said (via ESPN). “This was not the best version of Andrew Moloney, but full credit to Joshua Franco. He deserved to win the title with his effort. He closed the fight strong, like a true champion.”